Congress, NC propose Haji Hanifa Jan as joint candidate from Ladakh Lok Sabha seat

Mr. Jan is the district president of the National Conference, and will be facing BJP’s Tashi Namgyal in the fray

May 01, 2024 09:25 pm | Updated 09:25 pm IST - SRINAGAR

The local leaders of the Congress and the National Conference (NC) on Wednesday proposed the name of Haji Hanifa Jan as the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc candidate for the Ladakh Parliament seat. 

A joint press conference was held by the local leaders of the NC and Congress in Kargil to nominate the candidate. “We have had multiple rounds of consultations within the alliance partners and the stakeholders. Haji Hanifa Jan has emerged as a consensus candidate,” a Congress spokesman said.  

Mr. Jan is a district president of the NC. The NC-Congress combine performed well in the elections of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council-Kargil in 2023. The NC-Cong. combine managed to win 19 seats out of 26-seat Kargil hill council against the BJP’s two seats.

The NC-Congress combine in Kargil wants Mr. Jan to contest on the Congress mandate. According to the seat sharing formula within the INDIA bloc, the NC was to field candidates from three seats of the Kashmir valley and the Congress from Jammu’s two seats and Ladakh’s one seat.

Mr. Jan’s name is yet to be cleared by the Congress high command in Delhi. “Our leaders Asgar Ali Karbalai and Nasir Munshi are meeting the Congress’ central election body. We expect the final nomination soon. For any unfortunate reason, if the mandate does not go to Kargil, still the collective decision is that our candidate will be Mr. Jan,” local NC and Congress leaders said, in a joint press conference.  

The BJP has already nominated Tashi Namgyal as the party candidate and dropped sitting Member of Parliament (MP) Jamyang Tsering Namgyal. Ladakh is likely to see a direct contest between INDIA bloc and the BJP. 

Ladakh was carved out as a Union Territory in 2019 from erstwhile J&K. It will witness first ever Lok Sabha polls as a UT. Ladakh, with the Muslim-majority Kargil and the Buddhist-majority Leh, has a total number of 1,82,571 voters, including 91,703 male and 90,867 female voters.

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